Caregiving and Travel Patterns
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Caregiving and Travel Patterns

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  • English

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      Final Report
    • Abstract:
      This study explored the impact of caregiving for older adults on mobility and travel patterns. Specifically, the focus was on how caregivers managed trips on behalf of another who receives care. Caregiving is becoming increasingly common as the population ages, and the number of people providing care for loved ones is expected to grow in the future. A 2004 survey by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) estimated that there were nearly 44.4 million people who provided unpaid care for another adult. Caregiving for others often requires that caregivers make adjustments in their lives, fitting caring for their loves ones - and trips on behalf of their loves ones - around already busy schedules. Caregivers are also more likely to be women than men. For many older couples where the husband had long been the primary driver, caregiving roles can also mean a change in driving roles and in travel patterns. In spite of the growth in caregiving, and the increases expected in the future, relatively little is known about the impact of caregiving on travel behavior. This project focused on the trips that caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias made on behalf of those for whom they provided care, and how they may have adjusted their travel patterns to accommodate the additional needs they must satisfy. The questions in this study include the nature of the relationship between caregivers and those who receive care, the types of trips caregivers make for their loved ones, and how caregivers accommodate these trips - either by trip chaining, making additional trips, foregoing the trip (or having someone else make the trip), or having the goods or services brought in-home where possible. The goal of this work was to highlight some of the changes in trip and travel behavior we might expect as more people take on caregiving roles in their lives.
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